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Thread: visiting alaska

  1. #1

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    visiting alaska

    Dear All
    I own a supercub and based in Johannesburg. South Africa.
    My wife and `i would love to visit your beautiful country and more specifically Alaska
    I have 2 weeks and I was wondering what places /area I should prioritise. Love salmon and possibly some seaplane flying.
    Is a RV the way to go re accommodation or should one hire a car and do B&B
    When is the best time to visit alaska?

    Any assistance appreciated

    regards Frank Persson
    frank@abj.org.za
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  2. #2

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    if your in my neck of the woods, we own a lake front log cabin B&B on big lake. feel free to contact me for things to do regardless. scott, wm_scott_barry@hotmail.com

  3. #3

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    Fly into Anchorage and rent an RV,, that would give you access to some nice areas. Couple places and ideas,, Alaska Floats and Skis has a lodge and taking their float course is cool and the lodge and people are nice. Blue River Aviation in Palmer, has a couple nice Cubs that you could get some dual in and the Knik Glacier area is beautiful. Lots of tourist stuff up and down the parks highway. Another idea is the drive from Anchorage across the Glenn Highway,, check out Valdez, then north on the Richardson Highway to the Denali Road, (dirt road) but RVable slow. back to the Parks Highway, camping along the way, incredible country and at least one Lodge Alpine Creek still operating. The tourist season runs mid May to September.
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  4. #4

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    I’m partial to Bristol Bay, some of the best fly out float plane salmon fishing that exists. It’s really hard to go wrong anywhere in the state though. Katmai is really popular with tourists, it can be done as a day trip depending on where your starting point is.

  5. #5
    aktango58's Avatar
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    And Southeast Alaska is totally different from the places above.

    Two weeks is not enough to cover the entire state, just barely one portion.

    Sitka and Prince of Whales Island has some incredible salmon fishing, as does Port Alexander.

    So many options. Check out the different areas and maybe you can narrow down your search.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  6. #6
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    If particular daily weather/typical summer climate annoys then consider that early on. If dealing with that potential annoyance is worth the Alaskan experience you'll have more options. Some parts of Alaska never get warm and dry....others are but salmon are few. Just a thought.

    https://www.alaska.org/expert-advice/weather-climate Click on links to explore each region.

    Gary

  7. #7

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    visiting alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    Dear All
    I own a supercub and based in Johannesburg. South Africa.
    My wife and `i would love to visit your beautiful country and more specifically Alaska
    I have 2 weeks and I was wondering what places /area I should prioritise. Love salmon and possibly some seaplane flying.
    Is a RV the way to go re accommodation or should one hire a car and do B&B
    When is the best time to visit alaska?

    Any assistance appreciated

    regards Frank Persson
    frank@abj.org.za
    thank you all

  8. #8

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    If you include King Salmon in your itinerary and have time to visit and have a cup of coffee, look me up.

  9. #9

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    If you love to catch fish and enjoy eating salmon. Spend one week fishing in the middle of nowhere, wherein you can’t get here from anywhere but in an airplane. Check out the guided fishing lodges. In my neck of the woods the Goodnews River is a good lodge with excellent fishing experiences. Not as fancy or as expensive as the lodges on the more popular rivers… two people to a jet boat with a guide very familiar with both the middle and north forks of the Goodnews. In my opinion the silver salmon is a great game fish and can’t be beaten by any other fresh water fishing experience. We have all four species of salmon including Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, Grayling and huge Rainbows.


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  10. #10
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Make sure you go to Talketna and take a Beaver ride around Danali and landing on the Ruth glacier on skis. I have almost 5000 cub hours, 800+ on skis and that 1.5 hours was the most amazing flight of my life.

    Glenn
    Last edited by cubdriver2; 05-01-2022 at 10:03 AM.
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  11. #11
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_Moyle View Post
    If you love to catch fish and enjoy eating salmon. Spend one week fishing in the middle of nowhere, wherein you can’t get here from anywhere but in an airplane. Check out the guided fishing lodges. In my neck of the woods the Goodnews River is a good lodge with excellent fishing experiences. Not as fancy or as expensive as the lodges on the more popular rivers… two people to a jet boat with a guide very familiar with both the middle and north forks of the Goodnews. In my opinion the silver salmon is a great game fish and can’t be beaten by any other fresh water fishing experience. We have all four species of salmon including Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, Grayling and huge Rainbows.


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    Um, Mark, there are five salmon species...

    Goodness is a great option for a place to fish for sure. Of Course, lots of places to fish. Question is access and crowd.

    Send me a message if you are at all interested in Southeast Alaska.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  12. #12
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    Frank,
    When friends ask about visiting Alaska, I generally recommend renting an RV out of Anchorage. There are several companies located close to the airport and they're used to dealing with visitors arriving on the airlines. There are many places throughout the road system that provide services (parking space, electric and water hookups, etc). I recommend they not make firm plans for destinations, but rather check the weather forecasts and head for nice weather. Leaving from Anchorage, if the weather is good you can head to the coastal towns of Valdez, Seward, or Homer. If the weather isn't good down there, head north to Fairbanks. Just stay flexible.

    "Love salmon" as in you want to catch salmon, or just want to eat it? Timing and location are everything when fishing for salmon. Earlier in the summer are when King and sockeye run, with silver salmon later.

    The first week of August has always been a favorite time for me.

    Jim
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  13. #13
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    Frank,
    2 weeks is a nice length of time and if you keep moving you can see much. I rent a camper van like a sprinter, dodge RAM, or other. It sleeps 2 and has the camping kit, lawn chairs, cooler, water, stove, bedding. Not all rentals permit driving to remote places off the highway system but that is where true AK shines. McCarthy road, Taylor Highway, Denali Highway, and Dalton Highway can be splendid and way fewer people. A 19-24 foot RV runs around $340 a day, A camper on a F350 is about the same. Camper vans run under $200 generally. This is peak season unlimited miles. Before June 14th prices are lower but July to Mid August are I think the best dates. A nice mix to see the state is go into the interior exploring a bit cross over and down to Valdez and then ferry back to Whittier. A van and 2 adults runs something like $270 for the ferry pass but you save the drive back through Anchorage a 2nd time which isn't something I care for. McCarthy and Kennicott mine are pretty spectacular. A flight with McCarthy air is worth the $ as is a flight on Denali out of Talkeetna. Regardless of ones flight experience the glacier landing on Denali is a must for the bucket list. Everyone wants to see the bears and in the 20 trips I've made up there it's not a guarantee. Bear viewing flights out of Homer have gone up in price but the one I did a few years back was worth it. I'd rather spend some money on side trips than lodging so I look for a bed and breakfast or roadhouse with some good chow and hot shower every few days to stay human. I usually fish one combo charter and try to maximize the pounds of fish we take home in freezer boxes on the plane. Shipping fish is really costly. I mean big bucks. Fishing at the tail end of ones trip keeps the issue of fish storage to a minimum. The airport at Anchorage has large freezers where you can drop off and go do more traveling and some hotels also store fish boxes for the night you stay before a flight out. Puffin Inn is one example. The Kenia Peninsula is very congested July and August, everyone is trying to pack their freezers and take advantage of making a living out of 12 weeks of tourists. The lower 48 RV's pack Soldatna, Homer, and Seward. Valdez not nearly so. If you like kayaking there are some awesome day trips where you go out by water taxi and get really remote with a experienced guide. Worth it IMO once. Plan well in advance like 6-9 months out as the really good competitively priced outfits have lots of repeat customers. Anchorage has a wonderful museum as does Fairbanks. If timing works and weather is foul these are a great place to visit. PM me if you want information on some of the out of the way places offering a shower, meal and bed if you need one. A couple places I usually hit up every year. The Apollo restaurant in Seward (you can bring in your own fish) Seaview and Dirty Skillet in Hope AK, Roadhouse in Talkeetna, F street station Anchorage (small and busy but worth it), Pipers Bar near lake hood (can watch the planes from outdoor seating).
    Last edited by scout88305; 05-02-2022 at 10:22 AM.

    “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
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  14. #14

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    Frank
    I was just down in your part of the world two weeks ago with the wife and friends on a tour. We, had a great time!! I am just out of Anchorage send me a PM with your contact info and dates. We have a busy summer but if I am in town we can take the cub out for a flying tour. I can usually scare up another plane so you both can come at the same time or I will just do two trips. We will also have the 180 on floats this summer so that might work also. Stay flexible and chase good weather if possible. The RV works great for that. DENNY

  15. #15
    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    If your going to do an RV you had better reserve soon as they book up really fast; at least for the Anchorage area. They are anticipating a large influx of tourists this year.
    Ed

  16. #16

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    If you are on the Kenai Peninsula, I personally like Talon Air Service just out of Soldotna. We have gone ourselves and sent friends there for bear viewing while you are salmon fishing, boats from the seaplanes docked on floating muskeg (pending season) and really nice scenery going and coming. Our friends have reported the same great experience we have had and Talon is a little removed from the Homer cruise ship visitors.
    They fly from a dock at their base on a lake and are only 10 minutes from town.

    I am hearing most everything is booked for this season, at least on the peninsula.
    Ken

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Robbins View Post
    bear viewing while you are salmon fishing Ken
    I understand Salmon fishing is great sport by itself - without having to wrestle a grizzly for your catch! I'm not an Alaska guy but those two wouldn't at first appear to "go together" well. Sure y'all are tougher than normal folks, but that would seem to be taking things a step too far.

    (all in jest)

  18. #18
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    It took about 63 years since Statehood but Alaska is now pretty much a National Park. Lots to see and do so enjoy the trip.

    Alaska land status: http://forestry.alaska.gov/Assets/pd...ska_poster.pdf

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 05-02-2022 at 09:18 PM.

  19. #19
    scout88305's Avatar
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    As Ken said, things are pretty well booked up for summer 2022 which is very typical by spring. Reservations should be nailed down by Christmas. Last summer was a joy as Covid took it’s toll on the cruise ships and lower 48 traffic coming in from Canada. I liked how quiet it was in 2021. Talon Air is decent I’ve been on three trips with them but Wolverine creek/ Big River Lakes area can be pretty busy with all the operators in there. Rusts to name another. Sometimes 20 boats jockeying for position to see just one bear with cubs. The trips to McNeil and Chinitna Bay across from Homer produce lots of bears up close if that’s important. McNeil is probably on permit basis but there is another river over there with a platform I thought. Talon used to be like $295 for a trip, you could book through Gwins lodge. Now I see $550-$1000 for a day trip.
    Last edited by scout88305; 05-02-2022 at 09:47 PM.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Sitka and Prince of Whales Island has some incredible salmon fishing, as does Port Alexander.
    Can one see Wales from Prince of Whales Island?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Can one see Wales from Prince of Whales Island?
    No, but you can see black bares on the island. 🙃
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  22. #22
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    Pick what you like to do. Hiking? There are tons of possibilities. Fishing? Timing is everything. Rafting? Boating? There are more things to do and see than you can pack into a short visit. My advice is to not overcrowd your time and do too many things half-assed. Pick a few things and enhance the quality of your time. If you’re bucks-up? A $2000.00 a day fishing lodge in western AK is hard to beat. On the cheap? Anchorage and Mat-Su have more hiking and photo ops than you’ll have time for. Happy travels. Reach out if you need more detailed help.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedOwlAirfield View Post
    I understand Salmon fishing is great sport by itself - without having to wrestle a grizzly for your catch! I'm not an Alaska guy but those two wouldn't at first appear to "go together" well. Sure y'all are tougher than normal folks, but that would seem to be taking things a step too far.

    (all in jest)
    Actually, the coastal bears are generally pretty mellow to start with, but when the salmon are running, they pretty much have one focus, and it ain't us.

    MTV

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Um, Mark, there are five salmon species...

    Goodness is a great option for a place to fish for sure. Of Course, lots of places to fish. Question is access and crowd.

    Send me a message if you are at all interested in Southeast Alaska.
    My bad…I forgot pinks…they’re here to.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  25. #25

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    That made me smile. Pinks are the Rodney dangerfield of salmon! Even my kids love to hate them. I have fond memories of my daughter in wonder woman face paint talking about the stinkn’ humpies on the end of her line.

  26. #26
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Those of us that inhabit Interior Alaska never see a locally caught salmon that's near dead and don't know it. You coastal residents are spoiled. A fresh Humpy caught in saltwater is better than nothing...which is what we mostly have. The exception are Canadian bound King Salmon in the Yukon River. Now diminished, they are pretty much unavailable for us to harvest.

    Gary

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedOwlAirfield View Post
    I understand Salmon fishing is great sport by itself - without having to wrestle a grizzly for your catch! I'm not an Alaska guy but those two wouldn't at first appear to "go together" well. Sure y'all are tougher than normal folks, but that would seem to be taking things a step too far.

    (all in jest)
    I just stay in the boat cause I'm not tough at all. I do admit that route with a tour operator is a little lacking in sport when fishing for reds schooled up in a cove but they taste the same to me.
    Ken

  28. #28

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    Whatever you do get the hell out of Anchorage as quick as you can!
    Tim
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  29. #29

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    If you're wanting to fish for salmon along with flying and sightseeing, the last two weeks of July would be ideal. I would either rent an RV or do the rental car/B&B option - both work - and would consider the following itinerary:

    -Drive south along Turnagain Arm and through Turnagain Pass and the Kenai Mountains. Yeah, it's a bit busy in July because everyone else is also chasing salmon, but it's incredibly beautiful. Drive to Homer. Take a water taxi across the bay (Ashore Water Taxi is my favorite) and spend a day hiking. The next day (or whenever the weather is good), take a float plane ride and check out the brown bears on the other side of Cook Inlet. Drive back north to Cooper Landing and take a charter/float trip for sockeye salmon and rainbow trout on the Kenai River. You can do this on your own as well, but as someone new to Alaskan fishing, a guide will help. Drive north to Whittier. Do a combo trip with Crazy Ray's for silver salmon, halibut, and ling cod. A side trip to Seward is well worth the time as well. If you enjoy hiking, the Kenai Mountains have several spectacular hikes. If you like beer, there are several excellent breweries along the way.

    Reset for a night in Anchorage. Check out the aviation museum, Lake Hood, lots of breweries and great restaurants.

    Head north to Talkeetna. Catch a flight around Denali. Drive north to Cantwell the next day, then turn right and follow the Denali Highway. Stay two nights at Alpine Creek Lodge. Go grayling fishing. They're small, but they inhabit the most beautiful places on earth and are eager to take a fly or spinner. Go the rest of the way east across the Denali, then head south. If time allows, consider driving to Valdez (more saltwater fishing if you're still eager), or stop and fish salmon on the Gulkana or Klutina Rivers, or head east towards McCarthy (a truly spectacular locale, but it's a long and bumpy road). Then take the Glenn Highway back west towards Anchorage. Maybe stay the night at Sheep Mountain Lodge if for no other reason than it's a ridiculously beautiful setting. Oh, and you can hike on the Matanuska Glacier close by. Also, blueberries should be getting ripe right around then, and that whole loop from the Denali Highway around to Sheep Mountain is prime berry picking country.

    When passing through Palmer, make it a point to stop at Bleeding Heart Brewery (again, if you like beer). Find one of us from this site to give you a ride up to Knik Glacier and Lake George. It's close to home and is a spectacular backyard playground for backcountry pilots.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Brian M; 05-06-2022 at 12:27 PM.
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